Retiring & Retired Employees (Pension)

Ready to retire? Review the Massachusetts Pre-Retirement Checklist to avoid delays with your first payments, and estimate your benefits with the Retirement Board's Pension Calculator.

Before you retire: The State Retirement Board strongly recommends that you contact them to review your account and service history and file your retirement application at least 60 to 90 days in advance of leaving your position.

When Can You Retire?

To be eligible to retire with a pension, you need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • You entered public service before April 2, 2012, and you have 20 years of full-time creditable service at any age, or
  • You entered public service before April 2, 2012, and you attain the age of 55 with ten years of creditable service, or
  • You entered public service on/after April 2, 2012, and you attain the age of 60 if retiring from Group 1, with ten years of creditable service (Most employees are Group 1; see "Options for Receiving Your Pension" for more).

Will Your Pension Reduce your Social Security?

You did not pay Social Security taxes during your time working for the Town. That can reduce your Social Security benefits. We refer to this reduction as the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP. Your Social Security benefits will generally be lower if you did not pay Social Security taxes on at least 30 years of substantial earnings. If you paid Social Security taxes for at least 30 years through other jobs, your benefits will not be affected.

You can learn more about how your pension could affect your social security by clicking this link to the Social Security Administration's Windfall Elimination Provision website.

Different Rules for Different Hire Dates

The rules and benefits of retiring from public jobs in Massachusetts are different depending on when you first joined the retirement system. A new law changed the minimum age to retire and changed how age is used when calculating your pension. That only affects people who were hired on or after 4/2/2012. The following state guides show how your benefits can work for you.

Note: If you were hired before 4/2/2012 but left public service and took a pension refund, then got re-hired on/after 4/2/2012, you count as being hired on/after 4/2/2012.

Retirement Benefit Guides:

Hired Before 4/2/2012

Hired On/After 4/2/2012

Options for Receiving your Pension

There are four options for getting your pension payment, and your choice could affect the total amount you receive.

This is just a basic overview. You can learn more by clicking this link for the Mass. State Retirement Board website.

Note: You cannot change your mind after your retirement date. We strongly suggest you consult the Retirement Department before choosing. If you do not choose an option, you will automatically retire under Option B.

  • Option A - No Survivor Benefit: Option A will provide you with your full retirement allowance in monthly payments as long as you live. However, all allowance payments stop when you die and no benefits are provided to survivors.
  • Option B - Protects Your Annuity: Option B provides a lifetime allowance to you that is approximately 1% to 5% less per month than Option A. The annuity portion of your allowance is reduced to allow a benefit for your beneficiary. Upon your death, your surviving beneficiary of record, or if there is no beneficiary living, the person or persons appearing in the judgment of the State Retirement Board to be entitled, will be paid the remaining balance of your accumulated total deductions from your annuity reserve account. Submit an Option B - Beneficiary Change Form to the Retirement Board to add or change your beneficiary for this option.
  • Option C - Joint Survivor Allowance: Option C provides you with a lifetime allowance approximately 7-15% less than Option A. However, this reduction could be greater depending on the age difference between you and your beneficiary. Upon your death, your designated beneficiary will be paid a monthly allowance for the remainder of their life. The survivor benefit will be equal to two-thirds of the allowance that was being paid to you at the time of your death.
  • Option D - If Member Dies Before Retirement: Option D is selected if you die before retiring. If your Option D beneficiary is living at the time of your death, the money in your annuity account will not be disbursed to anyone in a one-time, lump-sum payment, even if you have named them to receive such money on your Beneficiary Selection Form for Refund of Accumulated Deductions. Instead, they will receive a benefit equal to the Option C retirement allowance which would otherwise have been payable to you. To trigger Option D, you must submit an Option D Beneficiary Selection Form to the Retirement Board.

Getting Paid

Regardless of your choice, you must submit an Application for Direct Deposit to have your money wired directly to your bank account.